George Bush Among Recipients Of Baffling And Nonsensical Statement Awards
Wednesday December 12, 2007
"The truism that heralds the fixture of liberty isn't necessarily the place you want to arrive at without forethought."
O.K., we know that doesn't make any sense. But after you read what's coming next, that meaningless sentence may well sound like a sage bit of advice. A group in Britain that specializes in highlighting needless bureaucratese has come up with its list of the most baffling pronouncements of 2007.
The winner of the Plain English Campaign's "Foot In Mouth" award for the year is an English soccer manager named Steve McClaren, who came up with this meaningless drivel when addressing star player Wayne Rooney. "He is inexperienced but he's experienced in terms of what he's been through."
Second on the list is a man you'd expect to be a regular contestant - and he is. George W. Bush earned the runner-up status for his baffling statement, "All I can tell you is that when the governor calls, I answer his phone."
Bush is a shoo-in for the prize every year, but those behind the campaign say he's just too well qualified to win all the time. "We thought it was a bit obvious to honour Bush as he comes up with them every day," observes spokesman Ben Beer. (See more Bushisms here.)
The contest began in 1979 and was spawned by a woman who didn't learn to read until she was 14. But after coming across endless examples of bafflegab and meaningless phrases, she wasn't sure that was a good idea.
Among the other dubious honourees for the year was this incomprehensible listing from the minutes of a meeting at the equivalent of a Children's Aid Society in Britain.
"The APA will assess all partnership arrangements affecting children, young people and families. In the past the APA was not as important as the JAR but this will be reversed. The JAR is no longer being scored: the scores for the CPA will be the APA score so the score we are given as a result of the APA this year will count to the JAR next year so we need to ensure the best possible APA.
"This year's APA will focus on a review of our CYPP. All current forms of assessment will disappear in 2009 when the CAA (Comprehensive Area Assessment) will be introduced."
We hope that's clear.
Then there's this warning for travellers posted on a sign at a railway station in Northern Ireland.
"Every autumn a combination of leaves on the line, atmospheric conditions and prevailing damp conditions lead to a low adhesion between the rail head and the wheel which causes services to be delayed or even cancelled. NI Railways are committed to minimising service delays, where we can, by implementing a comprehensive low adhesion action programme."
A courier company took great pains to explain why it can't always guarantee service.
"The Carrier shall not be liable for injury or damage to or destruction or loss of the Goods or any other property arising out of or incidental to or in connection with or occurring during the provision of the Services or for the mis-delivery or nondelivery of the Goods and whether or not caused or contributed to by the default (including negligence) of the Carrier or any agent, servant or officer of the Carrier or any other person entitled to the benefit of these conditions."
Oh, so that's why your package was late.
The Campaign has targeted countless politicians and Hollywood stars from Tony Blair to Richard Gere and claims its mission is to straighten out the unnecessary jargon that has invaded the English language. Those behind the idea don't think they'll be out of nominees anytime soon.
"We get 40 to 50 examples a week, mostly from British documents," Beer outlines. "This is the 29th year of the campaign. There is no chance of us being extinct anytime soon."
You can see other entrants by putting the necessary pressure on the pointer device which controls your personalized mechanization of ones and zeroes that cogitates various programmable elements - or in simpler terms, use your mouse to click here for more examples of this year's winners